Dragon NaturallySpeaking remains the most powerful beast in speech recognition, but cheap or even free tools are staking out territory for simpler tasks.
Everyone needs to scribble a note down now and then, but on Windows, you don't have to settle for the default Windows notepad. There are much more robust alternatives out there.
A cross between a sticky-note programs and a richer-format notepad program, pNotes is a free utility well worth installing.
Designed to completely replace the Microsoft's WordPad, Metapad has the small size and big feature list to make the change appealing.
Notepad2 echoes WordPad's familiar interface while adding useful features such as line numbering, syntax highlighting, and improved search-and-replace.
Text editor Notepad++ is portable and (as you might guess from the name) very programmer-friendly. It's open-source and donationware, too.
You can't go wrong with paid compression programs WinZip or WinRAR...but if you'd rather hang on to your $30, check out these free alternatives. Each of them can get basic file zipping and unzipping done without making you unzip your wallet.